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Mar 24, 2024 10:11 pm

No. 4 Alabama holds off No. 12 Grand Canyon, advances to Sweet 16

alabama grand

Mark Sears had 26 points, a season-best 12 rebounds and six assists to lead Alabama to a 72-61 victory over Grand Canyon on Sunday night in West Region second-round play at Spokane, Wash.

Rylan Griffen added 13 points for the fourth-seeded Crimson Tide (23-11), who scored the final 10 points of the game to hold off a charge by the Lopes.

Tyon Grant-Foster recorded 29 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots for 12th-seeded Grand Canyon (30-5), which was a porous 2 of 20 from 3-point range.

Alabama will face No. 1 seed North Carolina in the Sweet 16 on Thursday in Los Angeles.

The Crimson Tide shot just 36.9 percent from the field and were 8 of 31 from 3-point range but were helped by a 50-41 rebounding margin. Mouhamed Dioubate scored all nine of his points in the last 5:21 to fuel Alabama.

In addition, the Lopes shot just 32.1 percent from the field and 62.2 percent (23 of 37) from the foul line. Grant-Foster made just 9 of 16 free-throw attempts.

Alabama guard Latrell Wrightsell Jr. departed with a head injury with 6:36 left in the first half and was ruled out a short time later. Wrightsell missed four games late in the season due to a concussion.

The Crimson Tide held a 48-39 lead after a corner trey by Sam Walters with 11:38 remaining in the game.

The Lopes scored 19 of the next 26 points. Grant-Foster converted a three-point play with 6:46 left to knot things at 55 and Collin Moore split two free throws 21 seconds later as Grand Canyon took its first lead since 9-7.

Grant-Foster made a contested shot to end the burst and give the Lopes a 58-55 edge with 6:03 left.

Alabama quickly answered with seven straight points. Dioubate scored five in a row to give the Crimson Tide a 62-58 advantage with 4:56 to play.

After Grand Canyon moved within one, Alabama put together the decisive 10-0 spurt.

Dioubate scored four straight points and Nick Pringle followed with a dunk to give Alabama a 68-61 lead with 1:23 left. Sears and Grant Nelson each made two free throws to push the lead to 11 en route to closing it out.

Sears and Griffen each scored 13 first-half points as the Crimson Tide held a 38-30 advantage at the break.

Alabama closed the first half with a 10-2 burst to take the eight-point lead.

Grant-Foster had 12 points through the first 20 minutes of action for the Lopes.

–Field Level Media

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